Monday, 1 August 2011

Team Ford's Terrible July: A Review

Most people can probably agree July was not Team Ford's best month. But looking back on each day with some excepted for weekends or slow news days, it was exceptionally bad. Bad enough to affirm the most cynical views of what a Rob Ford mayoralty would look like-- filled with gaffes, spite, bad policy-making, juvenile taunts and divisiveness. 

Team Ford's July in all its glory is below:  

July 2: Giorgio Mammoliti videotapes Dyke March and alleges some people unfurled a QuAIA sign.

July 3: Rob Ford conspicuously absent from Pride Parade and any Pride Week event
July 4: Mammoliti says all Pride funding should be withdrawn because of QuAIA appearance

July 5: Former TTC manager David Gunn says TTC planning is heading off a cliff, calls Sheppard subway plan ‘a joke’.

July 6: Sue-Ann Levy furthers the sense there is tension between Team Ford and TTC Chair Karen Stintz by attacking her performance in a Toronto Sun column, suggesting she has to go.

July 8: KPMG releases their first core services report. It concludes 96% of services provided by Public Works and Infrastructure are essential. Other reports will suggest high numbers for essential services and point to libraries, pools, Riverdale and High Park farms, fluoridated water as areas that could legally be cut. 

July 11: Ford ally Denzil Minnan-Wong declares community consultation and surveys statistically invalid, irrelevant. 

July 12: Denzil Minnan-Wong moves up Jarvis bike lane debate by a day in a move that seems designed to avoid bike supporters showing up. They pack the chambers at 2:00 when debate starts anyway. Rob Ford votes against all community grants .
Denzil Minnan-Wong's pitches to cyclists were always awkward
July 13: In addition to voting down Jarvis bike lanes, Team Ford votes to not debate accepting provincial funding for two public health nurses (this includes Ford votes by Mushy Middle councillors Beradinetti, Moeser and Lindsay Luby). Rob Ford also votes against AIDS grants.

In the Toronto Standard, writer Ivor Tossell adds a new word to the Toronto political lexicon, ‘uncompetence’.
July 14: Ford loses a vote on implementing a stop light in a school zone (he was against). His team huddles in response, presumably over how the war on the car has continued.
On the radio, Doug Ford claims that the library system is bloated and that his area has more libraries than Tim Horton’s (there are 39 Tim’s and 13 libraries in Etobicoke).

July 15: Ford does a fact-allergic interview with John Oakley to spin the opposition to the KPMG reports coming at the standing committee meetings.

Marcus Gee, a Ford sympathizer during his campaign and to this point, writes a scathing critique of Ford’s budget numbers and mayoralty in the Globe and Mail.

July 17: Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler, the co-founder of Fair Elections Toronto, is allegedly threatened by Doug Ford who is one of the councillors his group has an outstanding audit request against. 

July 18: At the Public Works committee, Ford loyalists Mark Grimes, John Parker, David Shiner and Minnan-Wong vote against having the Medical Officer of Health report on what the implementation changes would mean and against comparing the savings in the KPMG report to priorities from the public consultations. 

July 19:  The news that left-leaning councillor Janet Davis was unanimously kicked out of a Civic Appointments meeting hits the media. Giorgio Mammoliti unironically calls her a bully.

July 20: Organized by Critical Mass, over 900 cyclists protest Jarvis bike lane removal by taking over the street.
Photo by Hyedie Hasimoto of bike protestors at City Hall. 
Also today, Fair Elections Toronto loses their audit application for the campaign finances of Giorgio Mammoliti, Doug Ford, James Pasternak, Michael Thompson and three losing candidates.

July 22: The Toronto Star and Globe and Mail report that Team Ford is looking to fire TTC head Gary Webster due to a lack of support for their Sheppard subway plan.

Meanwhile, Ford answers another softball-laced interview, this time from Stephen LeDrew, with misrepresentations and falsities. He then implores Ford Nation to come speak for five minutes at the Executive Committee meeting on July 28. 3 of the 169 speakers go on to support service cuts in the committee meeting.

July 26: Breaking the mainstream news after being posted on Facebook, Rob Ford allegedly gave a fellow driver the finger as she and her six-year-old daughter gave him a Mammolitieque thumbs down for speaking on his cell phone while driving.

More importantly on this day, Mushy Middle councillor Josh Colle essentially admits he was squeezed to vote against Jarvis bike lanes due to a hold Ford put on a development project in his ward. 

Discussing her criticism of potential library closures, Doug Ford engages in a war of words with Margaret Atwood, dismissing her as someone he doesn’t know, wouldn’t recognize on the street and doesn’t have standing to contribute to the debate as she didn’t run for office. 

July 27: Doug Ford ‘clarifies’ his Margaret Atwood comment by saying exactly the opposite of what he originally said.
Doug Ford in media scrum. Globe and Mail photo. 
July 28: Executive Committee Meeting begins at 9:30AM with a vote on limiting speakers’ time from five minutes to three minutes and deciding that the meeting will not be broken up into separate days. 344 people sign up to speak.

July 29: At 7:57AM after a wide array of creative, thoughtful and passionate deputants the Committee votes on moving forward all measures. Ford’s executive, including Mike Del Grande, Giorgio Mammoliti and Denzil Minnan-Wong dismiss the strong opposition as union supporters, a vocal minority and a ‘socialist party’.

July 31: Mercifully, the month finally ends. 
Ford at Executive Committee meeting. Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star

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